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Getting to Know: Reagan Bax

Is Reagan Bax, brother of model Kylie Bax, the only member of the NZ financial advice sector to have played golf with Donald Trump?

Friday, August 25th 2017, 11:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Reagan Bax, a Director of NZ Advice Group in Auckland and the Waikato. I am an AFA and spend most of my time focusing on insurance for my clients and helping our staff service our existing insurance, home loan and investment clients. I also have been on the board of the PAA for the past five years which has taught me a lot. I am married to my beautiful wife, April, and we have three children; Riley, Ryder and Isabella.

How did you get into the industry?

I was on the golf course every day in Florida for years giving golf lessons, and it was time for a change. My father Graham who has been an adviser for over 40 years introduced me to the industry 11 years ago, saying he was going to retire in a couple of years and he needed help. He’s still going strong today and will likely be at it another five years or so.

If there is one thing you would like to change about the financial advice industry, what would it be? 

I wish consumers knew more about how much an adviser can help them and how we are not just helpful when taking out an insurance policy, home loan or retirement plan, but at claim time, refinance time and when adjusting plans too.

What’s the best advice you have ever received?

I have had a lot of great advice over the years from a range of mentors, and the messages are all pretty similar in the end. Trust yourself to make good choices and know as much as you can about your craft, but if you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone who has knowledge and experience.

What could financial advisers learn from other industries?

We can be more professional as a group. To make consumers more aware of who we are and what we do, it’s important to be as professional as possible and hopefully the changes coming over the next year or two will give the public more trust with our industry.

Is it correct that you are friends with Donald Trump? How did that happen, if so?

I played golf with Mr Trump when I was an 18-year-old. I have had a bit to do with him over the years and he has been someone I have learned a lot from.

What effect do you expect his presidency to have on the economy?

So far things have been going well. The stock market is at an all-time high since the election and unemployment in the USA is at a 16-year low. There are many tough decisions ahead for Mr Trump which could have an effect on our economy in New Zealand. Hopefully as the USA strengthens, we do too.

What do you think the FMA has done well? What could it do better?

The FMA are doing everything they can to regulate our industry. As they grow in numbers, they will have the ability to check up on more advisers as complaints come in. They can then help advisers to grow their businesses while being fully compliant, which may help the value of the advice business grow, too.

What have been the benefits of regulation?

Our clients and future clients have more trust in us when they know we are regulated. It’s the start of us becoming more professional as an industry and gives us all more opportunity to help more of the public understand the value of advice.

Do you support Financial Advice NZ?

I certainly do. I have just spent the last few years with a lot of clever people, helping put the wheels in motion for the new association. It’s been a great journey and there has been a lot of meetings to make sure we get it right. Having one large voice will be great for the industry and it will help with consumer awareness and their trust in advisers.

What’s been your biggest success while on the board of the PAA?

There have been so many changes since I came onto the board five years ago. All of them have been positive and have taught me a lot about our industry and the people in it. As we come closer to the start of Financial Advice New Zealand, it’s important to remember the history of the PAA and the members it’s had over the years.

What’s the biggest threat to financial advisers?

I think as long as we all keep up with the changes we will be fine. If we stay on top of our education, regulatory changes and potential online competition, we will be in a strong position to look after our clients for many years to come.

What do you wish the public knew about financial advisers?

I wish they knew a lot more about us. I think we could do a much better job of telling them, too. It would be great if there was more education about our industry at high school, so young New Zealanders could choose to enter the industry instead of falling into it later in life.

Are you a KiwiSaver member?

Yes, I am. Why not? It doesn’t have to be your only retirement savings plan, but it can be a part of it.

If so, what’s your investment strategy?

Since I am still in my 30s and have a long way to go to reach 65, I have a high-growth strategy.

Outside of work what do you do? 

You might expect me to say I play golf, but I haven’t hit a ball for a few years now. I might get back into it one day, but for now it’s not a big priority. You will find me on the weekends spending time with family, at the gym or watching one of my horses run. April and I love to travel and we have a number of trips planned over the next couple of years, including cruising which we have been really enjoying.

What would you say if one of your kids told you they wanted to be a financial adviser?

I have a number of years before this may be the case. I won’t be pushing too hard, but I really hope one of them or all of them want to get involved one day. I think it’s a great industry filled with great people. I enjoy meeting new clients and speaking to current clients and I imagine they may feel the same if they get involved.

What’s one thing people may be surprised to know about you?

Last year, I was plucked out of a crowd of people and taken up on stage during our cruise and the ventriloquist Gareth Oliver, who finished just behind Susan Boyle in Britain’s Got Talent, put a mask on my face and made me look like a hero in front of everyone for the next 10 minutes. It was a lot of fun and made me very popular for the rest of our cruise.

If you weren’t in this job, what would you be doing?

I am pretty sure I would still be on the lesson tee in Florida. It was a lot of fun and a bit like my job now; I got to meet new people every day and learn about them.

Tags: AFA compliance Financial Advice New Zealand financial advisers FMA Getting to Know Insurance Advisers investment KiwiSaver PAA regulation retirement

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AIA 5.35 4.49 5.25 5.55
ANZ 5.54 5.15 5.85 6.15
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ASB Bank 5.35 4.49 5.25 5.55
Avanti Finance 5.45 - - -
Basecorp Finance 6.45 - - -
Bluestone 5.29 7.49 7.59 -
BNZ - Classic - 4.55 5.25 5.45
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.55 - - -
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BNZ - TotalMoney 5.55 - - -
CFML Loans ▲6.45 - - -
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HSBC Premier 5.49 4.39 5.15 5.39
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
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HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.25 ▲4.29 ▲5.09 ▲5.35
Kainga Ora ▲5.43 ▲4.57 ▲5.58 ▲5.85
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Kiwibank 5.00 5.55 6.19 6.39
Kiwibank - Offset 5.00 - - -
Kiwibank Special 5.00 4.55 5.19 5.39
Liberty 4.84 - - -
Nelson Building Society 5.95 4.95 5.85 -
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Westpac - Offset 5.54 - - -
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Median 5.45 4.55 5.25 5.52

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